Matt Damon on red-blue divide: ‘The things that really matter, really matter to all of us’
He’s an outspoken Democrat, but Matt Damon says he learned through prepping for his latest film that there’s common ground to be found among politically divided Americans.
“The things that really matter, really matter to all of us,” the “Stillwater” star said Tuesday in a preview clip from a forthcoming episode of “The Carlos Watson Show,” obtained exclusively by ITK. The series returns for the second part of its third season on Aug. 16.
Damon spent time in Oklahoma’s “roughneck” community to prep for his “Stillwater” role, in which he plays a Trump-supporting oil rig worker trying to free his daughter from a French prison following her murder conviction.
“They were a beautiful family. And they were a beautiful community of friends. And it was just all positive,” Damon told Watson, the co-founder and CEO of OZY, about the real-life red state residents he shadowed. “And you go like alright well this is my way into this character, right. The values they have. The love they have for each other and their families.”
“That is so much greater than … the political differences we had, we literally, we would laugh them off. Like I’m the ‘Hollywood liberal,'” Damon, 50, said with a grin.
The Academy Award winner backed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 and said in 2019 that he “loved” then-former Vice President Joe Biden.
“To me it boils down to: They’re in one of the reddest states, as red as you get. And they’re working in the oil business, in the oil fields in particular in Oklahoma. So they’re going to vote red down the ticket no matter what,” Damon said.
“There’s no news there. For them it’s like a binary proposition. The way they look at it, this is what I do for my family. This is my job that protects my family, that provides for my family. I’m going to vote that way. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated like that,” he said.
“They talked openly about feeling like we’re powering the country. They don’t like people looking down their nose at them,” Damon added.
Damon recalled a recent experience he had with one of the oil rig workers who had traveled to New York for the “Stillwater” premiere.
“We were looking out over the city and he said, ‘These lights are on. You want to look down your nose at a roughneck, man, you’re using the power.'”
“That’s his view,” Damon said, “and he sees the hypocrisy in that.”
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